skip to Main Content
Call Now for Chiropractic Care: (716) 308-2881

What is Functional Movement Rehabilitation?

Abbreviated FMS(This was originally called Functional Movement System but has since evolved from there), this is not a form of treatment, but a form of assessment.  Beyond the orthopedic, neurologic, and muscle testing, functional movement screening tests very particular movements that everyone should be able to complete, as a healthy adult.  A lack of ability of pain during these movements indicates a higher likelihood for injury later in life due to a lack of stability or coordination.  The tests include a very specific set of movements that every anatomically “normal” human should be able to complete.  These tests cannot be successfully completed if the patient is post surgical for any kind of joint surgery, or has congenital skeletal changes.

The purpose of these movements is to see how well your muscles are functioning to maintain range of motion (ROM) and stability.  The movements are not difficult to complete, but are very inherently difficult to do properly.  While these tests are very frequently used in athletes to identify areas that require more training, when they are used in conjunction with the rest of the physical exam, they can very easily identify muscle groups that need to be improved to prevent pain from recurring.

Patients who experience pain, and have failed at other physical type treatments, need 1 of 2 things, surgery, or a better assessment.

Benefits of Functional Movement Rehabilitation

The benefits from this style of assessment entirely depend on the problem the patient is seeking.  As a chiropractor in WNY, it is not uncommon for me to get patients that have not succeeded with treatment in many other capacities.  Some are post surgical, many actively want to avoid surgery and have tried physical therapy, other chiropractors, self care at a gym, massage, etc.    

For a joint to function properly the muscles around it need to be strong enough to maintain a slow, fluid range of motion.  If the body feels unstable, it will alter that range of motion to maintain stability.  This can be easily observed by Dr. Herrington, and it will further indicate where subsequent treatment is necessary, or what kind of therapeutic exercises may be required.

When poor movement is corrected, the body can heal in a much more advantageous way, and pain can be reduced and possible prevented.

For example:  If a patient suffers from chronic rotator cuff tendonitis, repeated treatment to only the rotator cuff tendon that is the problem, will resolve the pain, but it won’t fix the movement that caused the problem.  If the root cause of the problem isn’t isolated and addressed, the tendonitis is going to happen again. Via this assessment, if a patient is demonstrating poor movement of their shoulder blade (scapula) then secondary treatment needs to be given addressing that lack of movement.  Is the scapula too mobile, or fixated? Are the shoulder muscles imbalanced due to previous injury? Is it due to habitual posture, or chronic neural irritation?

Isolating poor movement gives an excellent indication of what is overworking and what is under working, in terms of muscles and joints.  Once balance is restored, the patient greatly improves their quality of life.

Who Can Benefit from Functional Movement Rehabilitation?

Virtually all patients can benefit from movement rehabilitation assessments, however, it entirely depends on the patient.  Treatment plans that involve movement rehabilitation are typically longer courses of treatment and require more “homework” for the patient.  

The decision of how “far” the patient wants to progress with their care, is entirely theirs to make, during the treatment consultation with Dr. Herrington.  Some patients want to seek care, be treated, and then get some degree of “routine maintenance” type treatments every month or couple of months, with minimal at home exercise.  Others want to be treated and never have to come back to the office, opting to self treat and/or progress their health via fitness. Both options are acceptable, as they are personal decisions.  Functional Movement Rehab isn’t useful for the “maintenance” type patient, as they typically don’t want to do at home exercises as “homework” between visits. Without maintaining a certain level of activity/fitness, full 100% resolution to chronic muscular/joint problems is rare.

Contraindications for Functional Movement Rehabilitation

This may seem overly obvious, but patients who have pain while moving, aren’t good candidates for this type of assessment/treatment. Also you are a true surgical candidate (meaning your injury requires surgical fixation) this form of care is also highly contraindicated.  

Are you experiencing joint, neck, or back pain? Work with a Buffalo Chiropractor that can help you.

Here at Herrington Family Chiropractic, not only does Dr. Herrington excels at spinal manipulation, but is also highly proficient at soft tissue manipulation. Utilizing techniques such as Myofascial Release Technique (MRT), Graston, Soft Tissue Massage, Ultrasound therapy and Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to ensure patients can be effectively treated for all their aches and pains.

If you have been living with joint, neck, or back pain, please contact us to schedule your consult.

Back To Top